If you’re looking to study in Canada or take the first step towards achieving Canadian permanent residency, a student visa may be the best starting place.
The process of obtaining a student visa and study permit is made smoother and less demanding with the help of an immigration lawyer.
Our experienced lawyers will work with you to secure a Canadian visa, study permit and, if possible, permanent resident status (for post-grad students).
If you’re confused about what’s needed to complete the paperwork or eligibility requirements for the student visa, a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers will clarify how you can secure entry to Canada to study — and we’ll guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
Eligibility to study in Canada
First, to be clear on the terminology:
- A student visa acts as authorization to enter
- A study permit gives you the authority to remain in the country by detailing the purpose, level, and duration of your study.
So, to study legally in Canada, international students need to obtain a student visa AND a study permit. First, check that you meet the eligibility requirements for entering and remaining in the country by demonstrating the following:
- You’ve been accepted by a Canadian school or other approved educational institution.
- You can afford the relevant tuition fees and living expenses.
- You will leave Canada before your authorized stay has expired.
- You’re a law-abiding citizen, who does not pose a risk to the security of Canada.
- You enjoy good health status.
Exemptions from the study permit requirement
Some international students may be exempt from having to obtain a study permit. This includes you if any of the following applies:
- Your educational program is less than six months in duration (though it may still be advisable to get a study permit in such cases).
- You are family members or employees of a foreign representative to Canada (accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada).
- You belong to a foreign armed force under the Visiting Forces Act.
Family members and employment rights of students
If you enter Canada on a student visa, your spouse or common-law partner can accompany you. He or she will be eligible to obtain a dependent study permit or an open work permit that will be valid for the duration of your studies.
You may also bring minor children with you. They can apply for a study permit to attend school.
International students can work for up to 20 hours per week (off campus) while studying and full-time during school breaks.
Furthermore, after completing your program of studies, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit, which allows you to work in Canada for three years (spouses and common-law partners can apply for temporary work permits too).
Renewing or extending your study permit
If you are granted a study permit, you will be expected to abide by the expiration date that it specifies.
However, if you want to extend your stay in Canada or renew your study permit, one of our immigration lawyers can help you gather the documentation to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada.
Make sure you apply at least 30 days before your current study permit expires. You will then be permitted to remain in Canada until a decision about your application is made.
How to change your program level of study
To change your level of study or the field you’re studying in, you likely do not need to apply for a new study permit. Instead, our immigration lawyers can guide you through the process of modifying your existing permit.
Can you restore your study permit?
If you lose your study permit, you will not be permitted to study in Canada and will need to leave the country. It may be possible to renew your student status but you must act within 90 days of losing it.
The process is often best handled by an experienced immigration lawyer, who can help build your case.
Reasons for losing a study permit
You can lose your right to study in Canada if you fail to meet certain conditions of your permit, such as:
- You overstayed the expiry date of your permit.
- You changed your school, study program or level of education without submitting the necessary paperwork.
- You failed to meet work permit conditions.
How to prepare a study permit application for Canada
International students often struggle with completing the paperwork when applying for a student visa and study permit.
Important details may be omitted, resulting in an application being rejected or unnecessary delays. By understanding the main reasons why applications are rejected, you can avoid making the most common mistakes…
Typical reasons for rejected applications
- A poorly prepared study plan casts doubts over the intentions of the individual to study.
- Lack of financial resources to demonstrate self-sufficiency without working illegally.
- No documented intentions to depart Canada after the period of study ends.
- Misrepresentation of the facts.
Study permit applications require careful attention to the details, especially if there are non-standard circumstances, such as an application from a mature student or from an individual who has had an application rejected previously.
The Canadian immigration authorities do receive a high volume of applications because of the many perceived benefits of studying in Canada.
These are all good reasons to enlist the assistance of a seasoned immigration lawyer, who understands the potential pitfalls and can help you prepare your study permit application so that it has the best possible chance of approval.
How can you become a permanent resident after studying in Canada?
Your Canadian student visa can be the first step to permanent residency — provided you follow the advice of our immigration lawyers.
Permanent residence through Express Entry
When permanent residency applications are considered, applicants are allocated points for education, work experience, and other factors.
Post-secondary education in Canada attracts an additional 30 points and Canadian work experience counts for up to 70 points.
These points can help international post-grad students in Canada meet the required level for permanent residency — though it’s not quite as simple as that and students often require the assistance of an immigration lawyer before submitting their applications.
Our lawyers can help you assess your status when applying for a student visa and advise you on your chances of securing future permanent residency through express entry while studying in your post-grad program.
If you don’t have enough express entry points, we’ll let you know what you need to do. If it involves contacting employers that are willing to support post-grad students, we’ll guide you through the process with reliable advice.
If you have a reasonable chance of securing permanent residency status, we’ll help you with the application and, after you’re approved, can provide guidance on super-visa and family sponsorship applications.
For students needing assistance with obtaining a student visa or any other immigration issue, the lawyers at Canadian Currents Immigration in Vancouver can help during an initial consultation.
Call 778-331-1164 to schedule your consultation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide legal guidance on any immigration matter you face.